“Do you know the difference between a pizza and a Canadian actor? A pizza can feed a whole family,” says Jordan Todosey, an actress living in Oshawa.
If you grew up watching Life with Derek or Degrassi: The Next Generation, Jordan (Jordy) Todosey,23, is a name you might remember. However, you may not have known she lived in Oshawa. She enjoyed growing up on the big screen, she says the industry is a tough place to come of age.
Todosey has lived in North Oshawa her entire life, but began acting when she was eight- years-old. She loves living in Oshawa because it has a lot of forest. She likes to skateboard and do outdoor sports and says her favourite thing about living in Oshawa is the different places to explore.
“When I was very young, I was the nature explorer type of girl who liked digging in the creek in my backyard,” says Todosey. “Also just being able to walk down the street and find a forest to go explore.”
When Todosey was eight-years-old she pursued acting by having her mother Terri get an agent through Actra in Toronto. Her first acting job was at nine, as a girl scout in the Disney movie The Pacifier. However, her mom says it was her daughter’s persistence which launched her into acting.
“She was fascinated by the whole concept,” says her mother. “We looked at different agents in Toronto but it was her persistence, for sure.”
Jordy with family,(left to right)Terri Todosey, Jordy Todosey, Dylan Donnelly.
Todosey starred as Lizzie in Life with Derek, and played a transgender character, Adam Torres, in Degrassi. However, the industry is changing. This has impacted the roles she gets. Todosey says there are more opportunities for people from different industries to transfer into an acting career. For example, Rebecca Romijn, a sport illustrated model who played “Mystique” in the early X-men films, and Cara Delevingne, a former model turned actress.
“The biggest thing right now is the social media platforms,” says Todosey “For a model to transfer into acting now is not uncommon.”
When it comes to choosing a role to play, Todosey looks for something out of the ordinary. However, Todosey says a lot of the roles are based on nudity and sexuality. She says this is something many child actors who grow up on the big screen have a hard time adjusting to. This has also been a struggle of her own because many of the roles she is offered have at least one scene with nudity.
Todosey calls the industry “a man’s world,” because of the different pressure put on women compared to men, especially when it comes to being naked on screen.
“I am just not ready to have my grandparents see me naked on screen,” she says.
Todosey has struggled with self-esteem in the industry because of the pressure they put on actors. She has seen many people struggle with body image and she says it brought her to a dark place in her life, and she has seen it with many other female actors.
“It’s not a big deal to have tits out, and it’s normal to see a girl orgasiming (on screen),” says Todosey. “Little things like this have a subconscious effect on the way we perceive ourselves and others.”
In 2011, Todosey won a Gemini, a Golden Sheaf, Peabody and was nominated for a prime-time Emmy award for her role as Adam Torres in Degrassi. While, winning these awards was an accomplishment, Todosey says being an artist in Canada can leave you “starving,” which is why she now finds balance with yoga.
Todosey says yoga allowed her to feel free during a rough point in her life.
“I had issues with my body image, I was suffering with an eating disorder and dabbling into dark things,” says Todosey “Slowly through meditation and yoga, I literally did a complete turnaround.”
Todosey has worked with Power Yoga Canada for over a year and has trained to become a certified teacher. She teaches every Tuesday at 6a.m. and 9a.m.
Lisa Reid is a fire fighter from Vaughn who attended a recent 9a.m. class and says she left feeling refreshed.
“It was challenging, it was open and gave me an opportunity to try a couple things that I wouldn’t have normally tried,” says Reid. “I felt like I could not be judged by the environment in the room.”
Dylan Donnelly has been dating Todosey for just under a year, and says one of his favourite memories is practicing yoga with her.
“I took her to see a waterfall, we brought the guitar, did some sketchy yoga right at the edge of the waterfall and my heart was beating,” says Donnelly.
Todosey plans to keep auditioning to get her next big role, but until then she will keep teaching yoga in Oshawa. She says her boyfriend changed her life for the better when she met him. She is excited for their future together.
“I fell in love with him but it was also me falling in love with myself again,” says Todosey.